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Tony Schwartz: The Myths of the Overworked Creative

About this talk

Time is finite, but we act as if it were otherwise, assuming that longer hours always lead to increased productivity. But in reality our bodies are designed to pulse and pause—to expend energy and then renew it. In this revelatory talk, energy expert Tony Schwartz debunks common productivity myths and shows us how to regain control over our energy so we can produce great work.

Tony Schwartz, Founder & CEO, The Energy Project

Tony Schwartz is founder and CEO of The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations fuel energy, engagement, focus, and productivity by drawing on the science of high performance. Tony has written four bestselling books, including The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, published in 2010, and The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy Not Time, co-authored with Jim Loehr. Tony has also published widely about leadership, engagement, and culture change.

He was a reporter for the New York Times, an Associate Editor at Newsweek, a staff writer at New York and Esquire magazines and a columnist for Fast Company. He co-authored the #1 worldwide bestseller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump and also wrote What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America. Tony has delivered keynotes to audiences around the world and has done leadership work with senior executives at dozens of companies including Google, Apple, Sony, Ford, and Harvard Business School.

Comments (53)
  • writers job

    cool video! more such like this)writers job

  • Deskthoughts On...

    Great speech of Tony Schwartz!

    Apart from the fact that humans are not multitasking-creatures, he makes a very good point – we’re not machines and we have to rest.

    And what’s true, we barely focus on renewal, especially during working hours. I get the same feeling (that Tony described) while taking a short breaks – “I’m slacking, I’m not doing what I’m supposed to”, and I end up with stings of remorse and eventually go back to work.

    Well, it’s time to reject the stings and get some good quality breaks.

    (Legislation all over the world should put this video obligatory to watch in every workplace and school…)

  • Thanh Pham

    Tony always gives great speeches. His first book (The Power of Full Engagement) was a game changer for me.

  • Julien

    Thirty minutes on such evidence.
    Better use them to refuel energy and rest.

  • suzieuda

    I’m so glad I spent the 31m and 11s to watch this inspiring talk. I think deep down we have always known that we need rest in order to perform our best. But somehow our mind fools us into thinking that we don’t need the down-time. I’m sharing this with my colleagues and will look out for Tony’s books.

  • essay writing

    Good post really nice!

  • Michael

    I multi-quit.

  • Gorin

    this is very important. great talk. energy management should be highly prioritized by us all.

  • Levity Gravity

    I think the world is circling the drain

  • Fajr

    Thoroughly enjoyed this, actually shut down multiple tabs just to fully focus on watching it. Thanks 99%

  • Don

    Awesome! He caught me checking email haha.

  • Hanlu Cao

    very good speech. I find myself hard to ever enjoy the internet without opening 4+ tabs. So true that the digital age is dictating our lifestyle. It’s hard to find the equilibrium between resting to refuel and just going for it until the end. Some can have a win-win situation and can actually feed off of their stress so that their work becomes better. Those are the people we envy.

  • Mariadanille

    LOVE to have Tony speak at our next professional development day.  Fabulous!

  • Michael

    Linchpin, Are You Indispensable?
    by Seth Godin  ©2010 

    The sign in front of your local public school could say:
    Maplemere Public School
    We train the factory workers of tomorrow. Our graduates are very good at following instructions. And we teach the power of consumption as an aid for social approval.

    It’s almost impossible to imagine a school with a sign that said:
    “We teach people to take initiative and become remarkable artists, to question the status quo, and to interact with transparency. And our graduates understand that consumption is not the answer to social problems.”

    And yet that might be exactly what we need.

  • Owen Marcus

    Tony Schwartz is right on!

    We have our priorities wrong… and we don’t know it.

    What makes it even worse is this state of always being on is hugely stressful for our bodies; it makes old before our time. We have conditioned ourselves to be always on. And consequently wearing ourselves out 24/7 – this is called PTSD.

    All the little stresses of life are ‘micro-traumas’ having the cumulative effect that one major trauma would have. We experience trauma as a survival situation causing us to allocate ever resource to our survival. With our resources beng allocated to surviving they are not being allocated to creativity or rejuvenation.

    What makes these micro-traumas worse is that they happen gradually and simultaneously to everyone around us. The constant state of PTSD and exhaustion habituates. We become that frog in the pot of slow increasing hotter water.

    Tony is write we need to jump up of our pot of stress.

    There are ways to expedite the removal of stress and the enhancing of recovery; slow, mindful activities such as yoga, bodywork, breathing and certainly sleeping. The question is when will we put as much focus in renewal as we do in producing?

  • A Kilijanczyk

    Great that s what i was looking for, to hear such needed information

  • George Chiramal Davis

    so true

  • amjad02

     Gain a quote at the outset and discuss whether the work is best suited for hourly or fixed

    fees. Find out if billing is by 10-15 minute increments and when chargeable.

  • Bek

    Very good. Thank you Tony Schwartz!

  • Ceydaozd


  • Tony

    So very true. Known this all my working life just never found anyone who agreed with me:)

  • nina


  • John Luke Laube

    Love this video!  Great stuff..

  • John Luke Laube

    inspiring truths!

  • Alex Martin

    Great concluding point. Well said.

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